Time to Improve

Fall and winter are the best time to repair or replace aging structures on the shoreline.

Fall on the lake is synonymous with crisp morning air, the fiery color of turning leaves, football, outdoor grills and the hard work of winterization.

Each year, as water temperatures cool and many lakes begin their annual recession, thoughts turn from the fading summer season to preparation for the spring. Boats are pulled from their slips. Houses are insulated. Days become shorter.

The winter doldrums that cool the frantic frenzy of those along the lake to improve their slice of heaven also provide perfect conditions to repair the summer base of action.

“Fall and winter are really the best time to get out along the shoreline and repair or replace structures,” said Billy Edge, land supervisor for Alabama Power. “Often the lake is lower and you don’t have the kids and family asking to get out on the water as much.

“But along those lines, a lot of folks are more ready for a rest than to look and see if their shoreline structures are in good enough shape to make it through another season,” he said.

A couple consecutive years of such post-summer malaise, and what could have been a minor repair begins to become a more substantial issue.

“Everyone who lives or has a place on the lake is there because it is a special place to them,” Edge said. “I don’t think anyone wants to harm the lake. I think a lot of times when you see structures begin to deteriorate, you have a case where someone just tried to wait an extra season to replace something and waited too long.”

As Alabama Power Shoreline Management continues to partner with local communities and regulators, Edge and his team are offering assistance to lake residents looking to improve or update aging structures along the shoreline.

In the coming months, shoreline managers will reach out to residents and lake associations to identify structures that appear to be in disrepair and offer to work with them to issue a no-cost permit for these repairs or replacements. Alabama Power will also work to coordinate trash drop-off points that coincide with local Renew Our Rivers cleanups.

“We know lake residents take pride in their homes and weekend retreats, and we hope they will make decisions about upgrades or repairs,” Edge said. “Pretty soon, spring will be back and the water will be coming back up.”

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